Contact: Capt. Douglas Messeck, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-258-4045, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter:
July 27-Aug. 2
Reminder for the week: Review blue crab regulations, including size limits, before crabbing
DOVER (Aug. 7, 2015) – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between July 27-Aug. 2 made 1,900 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 277 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 90 complaints and issued 60 citations. This week, with an expanded Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continuing to be deployed as a deterrent, no citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.
Incidents of particular note were:
· On Aug. 2, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Jose Cruz, 53, of Pedricktown, N.J., and charged him with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and failure to remain within lane of travel on Route 9 near Delaware City. Cruz was taken to Delaware State Police Troop 9 in Odessa for a breathalyzer test and released pending a mandatory appearance in Justice of the Peace Court 11 in New Castle at a later date.
· On July 31, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers cited two out-of-state seafood dealers for shellfish violations during inspections of commercial seafood trucks in the Selbyville area as they were transporting shellfish into Delaware. Phillip White, 34, of Parsonsburg, Md., was cited for recreational possession of over-the-limit blue crabs and three counts of failure to produce a receipt or commercial crab license as proof that the blue crabs he was carrying were taken by legal commercial means. William Weatherly, 57, of Exmore, Va., was cited with a commercial shellfish importation violation for failure to produce a shellfish origin shipping tag for hard clams as required by Delaware’s shellfish sanitation laws. White and Weatherly were each issued a fine totaling $107, including court costs.
· On July 31, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested commercial waterman Roland L. Naylor, 52, of Smyrna, and charged him with one count each of felony aggravated menacing, terroristic threatening and offensive touching following an onboard incident near Woodland Beach on the Delaware Bay. Naylor was ordered to have no contact with the victim in the case and released on $1,150 unsecured bond, pending a court appearance at a later date.
· On July 31, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested James A. Motes, 39, of Newark for removing a prohibited shark from the water near Bethany Beach. Motes was issued a fine totaling $122, including court costs.
· On July 30, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Cameron Haughton, 23, of Dover for possession of a prohibited shark species near Bowers Beach on the Delaware Bay. Haughton was issued a fine totaling $111, including court costs.
· On July 28, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Bernard A. Mitchell, 43, of Newark for removing a prohibited shark from the water near Bethany Beach. Mitchell was issued a fine totaling $122, including court costs.
· Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police concluded an investigation into commercial sales of recreationally-caught blue crabs near Milford with three recent arrests. Brenda L. Moffett, 55, of Camden, was charged with five counts of possession of undersized blue crabs, one count of unlawfully catching crabs without a commercial license and two counts of illegal commercial blue crab sales by a recreational crabber; Moffett pled guilty to five of the eight charges and was fined $505, including court costs. Eva L. Shearn, 53, of York, Pa., was charged with five counts of possession of undersized blue crabs and one count each of unlawfully catching crabs without a commercial license and illegal commercial blue crab sales by a recreational crabber; Shearn pled guilty to three of the seven charges and was fined $418, including court costs. Gary T. Webb, 58, of Lincoln, was charged with one count each of unlawfully catching crabs without a commercial license and illegal commercial blue crab sales by a recreational crabber; Webb pled guilty to the charges and was fined $209, including court costs.
Citations issued this week by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (7), possession of undersized blue crabs (16), possession of over-the-limit blue crabs (1), over-the-limit recreational crab pots (1), possession of a prohibited shark species (1), removing a prohibited shark from the water (2), possession of undersized white perch (1), and possession of undersized summer flounder (4).
Commercial: Failure to produce a receipt or commercial crab license as proof that blue crabs slated for sale were taken by legal commercial means (3), and illegal commercial blue crab sales by a recreational crabber (4).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (3), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (5), no boating safety certificate (3), and allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (1).
Public Safety: Driving under the influence of alcohol/DUI (1), failure to remain within lane of travel (1), felony aggravated menacing (1), terroristic threatening (1), offensive touching (1), shellfish importation violation/failure to produce a shellfish origin shipping tag for hard clams (1), and failure to observe no stopping, standing or parking zone (1).
Other: Vehicle improperly constructed or loaded to prevent contents from dropping, shifting or leaking (1). (Note: This citation was issued for leakage from a seafood truck.)
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind recreational crabbers to review state regulations governing blue crabs, including the required use of a turtle by-catch reduction device in recreational crab pots.
A turtle by-catch reduction device is attached in the funnel entrance of a recreational crab pot to reduce the possibility of diamondback terrapins entering the pots and drowning. The device is a rigid metal or plastic rectangular frame that measures 1.75 inches by 4.75 inches. By-catch devices are available at local tackle shops or may be handmade of heavy wire. Directions to install a by-catch reduction device are available online at Turtle Excluder.
Other Delaware crabbing regulations include:
· A Delaware recreational fishing license is required for recreational crabbing.
· The recreational daily limit on blue crabs is one bushel per person.
· Minimum “keeper” size for male blue crabs and immature female crabs with the V-shaped apron is 5 inches, measured across the shell from point to point.
· Mature female crabs, identified by the U-shaped apron, are exempt from the minimum size of 5 inches because many females reach maturity at a smaller size.
· Mature female blue crabs bearing eggs, known as sponge crabs and recognizable by the orange eggs visible under the apron, may not be taken and must be returned to the water immediately.
· Recreational crabbers may use any number of single, baited hand lines, trot lines (a longer weighted line with a series of baited points) or pull traps. Standard size and possession limits as noted above apply.
· Recreational crabbers may not use, place, set or tend more than two crab pots.
· Recreational crabbers are not permitted to sell blue crabs in Delaware.
· Recreational crab pots must be tended by the owner at least once every 72 hours and must be marked with white buoys with the owner’s name and permanent mailing address.
· Fishing or crabbing off courtesy docks at state-owned boat ramps is prohibited.
· To avoid being cited for littering, gather up leftover bait, bait containers, crab lines and other trash for proper disposal. Fish & Wildlife fishing areas and wildlife areas are “carry in, carry out” for trash.
· For more information on individual wildlife areas, including the rules and regulations specific to each wildlife area, wildlife area visitors are encouraged to check out Delaware wildlife area maps, which are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and online at Delaware Wildlife Area Maps.
Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing office in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.
For more information on crabbing in Delaware, click on 2015 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish, wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at http://de.gov/ogt.
Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Fish-Wildlife-Natural-Resources-Police.
Vol. 45, No. 261